Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs Blue Jackets (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs Blue Jackets (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

Later tonight at the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks will open up their first of eight games against the Columbus Blue Jackets. After taking two-of-four points against the Nashville Predators with two extra-time losses, the Blackhawks ride a five-game point streak into tonight’s contest. The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, are coming off a shootout win over the Florida Panthers last night. It is the second game on back-to-back nights of action for the Blue Jackets with a day of travel in between. The Blackhawks and Blue Jackets face each other a divisional foes for the first time since the 2013 season.

Chicago holds an 8-4-2 record against Columbus since the Blue Jackets moved to the Eastern Conference.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, FS-O, NHLN, SNW, SNP, TVAS
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (2-3-3, 7 pts)

Janmark – Suter – Kane
Kubalík – Strome – Kurashev
Hagel – Söderberg– Shaw
      Kämpf – Carpenter

Keith – Carlsson
De Haan – Mitchell
Zadorov – Murphy
Beaudin

Lankinen
Subban

Blue Jackets (3-2-3, 9 points)

Foligno – Texier – Bjorkstrand 
Grigorenko – Domi – Foudy 
Jenner – Roslovic – Atkinson 
Robinson – Koivu – Nash

Gavrikov – Jones 
Werenski – Savard
Del Zotto – Kukan

Korpisalo
Merzlikins

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Brent Seabrook (IR – Lower Back)
Zack Smith (IR – Back)
Kirby Dach (LTIR – Out 4-5 months – Wrist)
Alex Nylander (LTIR – Out 4-6 months – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)
Alex DeBrincat (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
Adam Boqvist (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
Lucas Wallmark (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)

Blue Jackets:

Patrik Laine (Day-to-day)
Gustav Nyquist (Out Indefinitely – Shoulder)
Brandon Dubinsky (LTIR – Wrist)

Betting Odds

The Blackhawks are +1.5 underdogs for tonight’s matchup against the Blue Jackets, according to DraftKings, and currently sit +112 on the moneyline.

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What To Watch For

•   For the second game in-a-row, the Blackhawks will go with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen in the lineup. Chicago came away with a shootout loss to the Predators on Wednesday night with the same lineup, mostly thanks to the play in net from starter Kevin Lankinen

•   Speaking of which, Lankinen makes his fifth start this season, bringing with him a 2-0-2 record and a .931 save percentage. Lankinen is making his fifth start in the last six games, with Malcolm Subban having played on Tuesday night in the overtime loss to the Predators. The 25-year-old rookie is one of three goalies to have at least four starts with no regulation losses this season, along with Montreal’s Carey Price and Washington’s Vitek Vanecek. Lankinen’s .931 save percentage is the best of the three.

•   Columbus is playing on back-to-back nights having traveled from Columbus to Chicago in the process. Look for the Blackhawks to try and take advantage of some possibly weary legs from the Blue Jackets. The Blackhawks are 2-0-1 when they lead at the end of the first period this season.

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.